July 16, 1951 — “The Catcher in the Rye” is published

On this day, in 1951, one of the all-time great classics of teen angst was published. J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” is a coming of age tale in which the protagonist, Holden Caulfield – who is surely one of the least likable and self-aware characters ever to find his home on the page – comprehensively fails to come of age over the course of a weekend spent in New York City.

That hasn’t stopped a million English teachers from setting this book as required reading in the decades since then, and its place in the canon of popular literature has long since been assured, if only by the book’s role in the death of John Lennon. As one of the poor bastard students who was required to read this book in high school, I may not be an unbiased judge, and I apologise for that – but all these years on, I still loathe the damn thing, albeit not as entertainingly as John Scalzi does.

Cover features a drawing of a carousel horse (pole visible entering the neck and exiting below on the chest) with a city skyline visible in the distance under the hindquarters. The cover is two-toned: everything below the horse is whitish while the horse and everything above it is a reddish-orange. The title appears at the top in yellow letters against the reddish-orange background. It is split into two lines after "Catcher". At the bottom in the whitish background are the words "a novel by J. D. Salinger".
By Michael Mitchell; the credit “Jacket design by Michael Mitchell” is found on the right jacket flap (the left panel). (For jurisdictions that do not recognize the rule of the shorter term, and define copyright term based the date of the author’s death plus a set number of years: according to this post at Cal Arts, Mitchell died in 2009.) – Nate D. Sanders auctions (direct link to jpg). Retouched by uploader., Public Domain, Link

As mentioned in:

We Didn’t Start The Fire — Billy Joel

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *